Americans love their companion animals. Caregivers across the United States spend millions of dollars every year on their pets because they are an integral part of their family. More so, we love our Pit Bull type dogs so much, we are willing and ready to fight for the right to own them.
After decades of vilification as a dangerous, aggressive dog used primarily for dog fighting, the Pit Bull type dog is regaining its deserved place in American society. National Pit Bull organizations like the Animal Farm Foundation, Bad Rap, Best Friends Animal Society, and the National Pit Bull Awareness Campaign have played major roles in Pit Bull rescue, adoption, and education. These organizations are leaders, inspiring Animal Shelters, Pit Bull Rescues, Pit Crews, and individuals all across the country to re-educate the public about this misunderstood breed.
In spite of this new vision of the Positive Pit Bull as a family dog, service and therapy dog, hero, and Breed Ambassador, the media continues to demonize the Pit Bull in its account of dog bites and attacks on other dogs and humans, swaying public opinion, and prolonging the swell of ignorance and misinformation. In turn, policy makers across the states stick to their archaic strategy of Breed Specific Legislation to “protect the public.” Whereas progressive animal sheltering organizations are reaching No-Kill status, backward thinking remains in many U.S. cities where inhumane, lethal efforts control the unwanted Pit Bull population.
In Virginia, the law clearly states: “No canine or canine crossbreed shall be found to be a dangerous dog or vicious dog solely because it is a particular breed, nor is the ownership of a particular breed of canine or canine crossbreed prohibited.” However, when it comes to daily-living in forward-thinking Arlington, there are quite a number of apartment complexes that ban Pit Bull type dogs and a long list of other dog breeds considered “dangerous” or “aggressive.”
A typical discriminatory apartment pet policy reads: “We will accept all breeds of dogs, at least one year old, except the following or any combination of mixed breed that contain any of the following: German Shepherd, Great Dane, Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Chow, Dalmatian, Doberman Pinscher, Siberian Husky, Rottweiler, Saint Bernard, Wolf Dog Hybrids, Pit Bull Terriers (including all Pit Bull breeds, American Pit Bull Terriers, American or Irish Staffordshire Terriers, Bull Terriers, Pit Bulls, American Bull Dogs, and Presa Canario).
While Pit Bulls continue to flood local animal shelters and animal lovers want to adopt Pit Bulls, housing regulations, other than private home ownership, present obstacles and thwart the effort of finding permanent adoptive homes. Here is a sample list of Arlington, VA apartments with breed specific restrictions:
- The Residences at the Market Common
- Vista on Courthouse
- Windsor at Shirlington Village
- Oakwood Arlington
- 55 Hundred
- Lofts 590
- IO Piazza by Windsor
The restoration of the Pit Bull image has come a long way…but, still has a long way to go…
National Pit Bull Education and Adoption Resources:
- Animal Farm Foundation
- Bad Rap
- Best Friends Animal Society
- National Pit Bull Awareness Campaign
Local Pit Bull Resources:
- Animal Welfare League of Arlington Pit Crew